City officials in Houston on Friday designated $100,000 from the city's general fund to fight rising HIV infection rates among the city's African-American community, the Houston Chronicle reports. African-Americans make up about 58% of all the city's new HIV cases. The allocation from the general fund marked the first time city money has been spent on minority HIV/AIDS efforts. The money will go to a program established in 1999 by Mayor Lee Brown, who declared a health-related state of emergency in the city because of rising HIV infection rates.
The program organizes events for youth, such as a late-night basketball camp, where health officials and local celebrities talk about sexual health and HIV prevention. The program is supported by a $300,000 annual grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"In order to stop this epidemic, you have to change the sexual practices of individuals, and that's a personal matter," Brown said. "We know education works, but it has to be easily accessible."